This beautiful painting by Joe Wilhelm is the CONTE BIANCAMANO, which was an Italian liner launched in 1925. The name was chosen in honor of Humbert I Biancamano, founder of the State of Savoy. She was built in the Scottish shipyards of William Beardmore & Co. in Dalmuir, Glasgow. She was built for the Genovese shipping company Lloyd Sabaudo who had also ordered two sister ships, the Conte Rosso and Conte Verde. The engine with two steam turbines double reduction unit and two propellers, allowed her to reach a speed of 20 knots. She carried 180 passengers in first class, 220 in second class, 390 in economy class and 2660 in third class.
In December 1941 she was seized by the U.S. Navy and converted into the troop transport USS Hermitage. In this role she carried 5,600 troops in the North African landings and served in the Pacific in 1943.
After WW2 she was returned to her owners and was refitted in Montfalcone in 1948.
On 14 July 1949, Conte Biancamano was placed on the Genoa - Buenos Aires route until 21 March 1950 when she was moved to the Genoa - Naples - Cannes - New York route. On 26 March 1960, she began her last voyage on the Genoa - Naples - Barcelona - Lisbon - Halifax - New York route .On her return voyage after 364 crossings during which she had carried 353,836 passengers she was laid up and demolition took place in La Spezia the following year. During the demolition the bridge, some first-class cabins and the large hall of the festivities were dismantled and reassembled in a separate pavilion. This was completed in 1964 at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.